In General, Sport

I never expected this freak goal. It’s New Year’s Day. We’re at Treyew Road covering Truro City’s Vanarama National League South fixture against Poole Town. The game is into the second minute. Supporters are still making their way out of bar and taking their positions behind the goal. I am trying to focus….literally and metaphorically. The ball is switched to our side of the pitch. Truro’s wing back Niall Thompson takes possession of the ball just inside his opponent’s half. It’s blowing a “hooley” in his favour. He looks up, punts the ball with great gusto into the penalty box. Is it a cross or an attempt on goal? Truro City go one nil up.

My commentator Dave Deacon describes the cross and stops  mid sentence as the ball takes on a new trajectory and sails over the lunging keeper and in off the upright. Steve Massey summarising, and with the advantage of a couple of seconds of reflection, focuses on the look of embarrassment all over the face of Thompson as the players gather round with looks of sheer incredulity. I am thinking to myself. “I hope to goodness I have captured all of this, otherwise my reputation will be in tatters.” Such are the joys and challenges of the sports videographer.

Moments of high drama and elation are few and far between. But it happens and its why I spend so much time on match day setting up, filming and editing –  all the way through to the wee small hours of the following morning. When these moments come they are usually in the form of wonder / freak goals, last minute tries run in from the half way line, controversial refereeing decisions, full blown pitch brawls or, as in the case of Crewe Alexander’s last visit to the city of Truro – a streaker!

I haven’t had any of my clips go viral yet, though this week’s freak strike has been picked up by a number of gambling sites and the stats have exceeded 6000. As yet, not a cent has been earned through the monetisation of my videos, but that’s not what its all about.

My first experience of filming a professional football match was well over a decade ago, at the KC Stadium – the home of Hull City. I was up north on a wedding video training course and invited to stay on and join the film crew for the local derby match against Leeds United. I found myself pitch side for the second half, in line with the penalty box. Jon Parkin (AKA “the beast”), Hull City’s centre forward scored the only goal of the match – a header from a cross from the far side of the pitch. Not only did I capture the goal cleanly but also the mass celebration that took place right there in front of me. From that moment on I was hooked, freak goal or no freak goal.

Filming the 2007 FA Vase at the then new Wembley Stadium was an amazing long week-end project. I followed the team on the coach, at the hotel, on the sacred turf and parading the trophy on the open decked victory bus. I just couldn’t contain myself when Kevin Wills slotted home the equaliser just before half time. What a privilege. What a great pleasure.

Of course filming football matches is just one part of my work as a videographer – the icing on the cake. The bread and butter is the corporate assignment, wedding or life story on video. These are far more predictable and generally easier to stage manage. Sport is raw and often full of drama, aggression and uncertainty. That’s why I will back at Treyew Road with my tripod and video camera in place for the next home match against Concorde Rangers on Saturday 13th January. Who knows what will happen then?

Featured image courtesy of Colin Bradbury


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